This is a delicious, warming soup that is packed with immune boosting garlic and ginger + optional chili for clearing the nose! It’s also a winner because it’s an easy one to make ahead of time and heat up in a flash for those crazy nights full of activities, or when you’re rushing in the door after work with hangry kids who need to eat now!
This makes enough for 2 adults and 3 kids.
½ tablespoon coconut oil
1-2 cloves garlic
Long red chili, seeds removed and sliced
1 bunch coriander or continental parsley
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or finely chopped
500mL chicken stock
1 star anise
2 tsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp fish sauce (Red Boat brand)
600g minced chicken (or whizz your own chicken thigh in Thermomix)
2 spring onions, plus extra for garnish
Pinch ground white pepper
100g rice vermicelli noodles (I use Nutritionist Choice brown rice noodles) OR zoodles
Veggies of choice – I like spinach & button mushrooms for autumn/winter and baby corn & snow peas for spring/summer.
Lime & bean shoots, to garnish
- Finely chop spring onions, coriander (or continental parsley) and add to a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl with 1tsp of the minced ginger, the pinch of ground white pepper, ½ tablespoon fish sauce and the chicken mince. I always use non-porous bowls when dealing with raw meat, in case you’re wondering why the glass/ stainless steel. Pop some kitchen gloves on and mix everything through thoroughly.
*If you have a Thermomix, you can whizz the white peppercorns and ginger until they’re nice and fine, then add the rest of the meatball ingredients and hit turbo for 1 sec, 3 times.
- You’re going to cook the soup in a pot and steam the meatballs in a basket above. With wet hands (so the chicken doesn’t stick) shape the chicken mix into small meatballs and place in your simmer basket. I make mine small enough to be one mouthful – about 1 heaped tsp each.
- If you’re using a Thermomix, you would then proceed to make the soup in the bowl without washing it – the flavours from the meatballs just add to the soup. Otherwise, we’re heating our large saucepan, adding the coconut oil until melted and hot, before gently sautéing the minced garlic and remaining tsp minced ginger for 1 min or until fragrant.
(TM 1min, 100°C, sp1).
- Add the chicken stock, water, star anise, coconut sugar, tamari and remaining ½ tbsp fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Check the flavour and add more tamari or fish sauce as desired.
(TM 4min, 100°C, sp1).
- Place the simmering basket over the pot and simmer 4 mins before turning the meatballs and simmering for a further 4 mins. After the first 4 mins, add your noodles or zoodles.
You can also add your vegetables to the soup at this point, or you might prefer to serve the raw vegetables buffet style with tongs for the family to select which vegetables they would like in their soup and just let the heat of the soup gently cook the vegetables upon serving.
- Prepare a plate for garnish – chopped or sliced chili, lime wedges, fresh coriander, sliced spring onion, bean sprouts if you fancy.
- Check your meatballs are cooked through and then serve your soup with noodles and meatballs and let each person choose their garnish. This is an easy way to tweak a meal to multiple tastes. Back in the day, I would have put sliced chili into the soup – now I add it as a garnish. Because my family don’t like coriander (apparently there’s some legitimate genetic thing that means coriander tastes like soap for some people) – I make my meatballs with continental parsley and then use heaps of coriander garnish for my bowl. Everyone’s happy!